New Stained Glass Window unveiled in Belleek Parish Church
Over 5,000 visit Belleek Flower Festival

A large crowd gathered in Belleek over the weekend of 22nd to 25th May 2009 for the Flower Festival in Belleek Parish Church, in what was a unique cultural weekend celebrating the village’s history in flowers, stained glass, pottery and music. The event raised over £25,000 towards the cost of restoration work to the church, and commenced with an opening service on Friday 22nd May at 2.30pm, during which the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Jackson gave the address. Before the service commenced, a new stained glass east window by David Esler was unveiled by the Revd Noel Regan and his wife Joan, assisted by the Managing Director of Belleek Pottery, Mr John Maguire and his wife Catherine, along with Cllr Danny Caldwell Keenaghan, a descendant of John Caldwell-Bloomfield, one of the founders of Belleek Pottery.
After the service the Bishop officially opened the flower festival, however before the opening of the flower festival, Mr John Maguire, Managing Director of Belleek Pottery launched a new Belleek Pottery basket which had been commissioned to mark the bi-centenary of the church building in Belleek. “The basket is designed on the William Henshall basket, the man who brought the art of basket making to Belleek and who is buried in the Churchyard at Belleek Parish Church. The Potter’s Wheel window is depicted on the base of the basket” said Revd Regan. This limited edition beautiful work of art by Belleek Pottery is available to purchase until the end of July 2009.
The weekend of activities came to a close with a service of choral evensong on the evening of Monday 25th, at which the singing was led by the robbed choir of the Priory Church, Killadeas.
Speaking after the weekend event, Revd Regan reported that the weekend was a huge success. “The whole weekend was just phenomenal. We had a great reaction to the potter’s window and the crowds came from all corners of Ireland, including Wexford, Tipperary, Dublin and all across the west, it was just unbelievable. The flower displays were just spectacular, some of the most exotic ones were imported from as far as South Africa, and they were all very beautiful.”
The flower displays in the church were the work of Collette Maguire and Austin Stronge, and in the neighbouring Wark Hall, a number of community flower arrangements were also on display. These arrangements were designed and created by local schools and community groups from the Belleek locality. They were made during workshops and reflected the individual groups concerned.



Date: May 2009